Champagne Bruno Paillard N.P.U. 'Nec Plus Ultra' 2003
Made Only in truly great vintages. The first ever N.P.U – Nec Plus Ultra, a 1990 vintage, was released in 2002. Only four have followed since, each of different temperaments: 1995, 1996, 1999, and the very special 2003
Of the 320 villages in Champagne, only 17 are entitled to the “Grand Cru” appellation; grapes selected to create N.P.U. “Nec Plus Ultra” 2003 are sourced from just four of them: Oger, Chouilly, Verzenay and Mailly. These are the noblest amongst the Grands Crus of the north of Champagne, better suited for the crazy heatwave experienced in 2003. The different crus that are blended into the N.P.U are fermented in small wood barriques imparting even more character to a very special wine.
In 1981, Bruno Paillard is 27 years old, and with nothing but his will, he created his Champagnes in a rented cellar with carefully selected grapes from independent growers. Today, Bruno Paillard’s vineyards cover 32 hectares (79,5 acres) of land over the best Crus of Champagne. Respect of this fantastic terroir through sustainable viticulture is a priority of the house. Bruno Paillard style is the marriage of elegance and complexity which translates into a light and smooth effervescence, a remarkable purity, a true freshness and a silky texture.
|Varietal||50% Chardonnay & 50% Pinot Noir|
'The newly released 2003 NPU Nec Plus Ultra is only the fifth edition since 1990. The ambitious prestige cuvée from Bruno Paillard is only produced in great vintages (so far 1990, 1995, 1996, 1999 and 2003), and only from grand cru villages grapes; the ratio is always 50/50 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The first fermentation of the must (only the tête de cuve is used, but that's how it is in all the other BP cuvées) takes place in small oak barrels, where the wine spends ten months. No less than ten years have to pass by until the wine is disgorged as Extra Brut (there is three grams of dosage) and kept in the cellar for another year. This 2003 was disgorged in March 2015. Total production is 4,200 bottles. The wine has an intense yellow-golden color. It is very intense, rich and complex on the beautifully matured nose, where a bouquet of yellow and dried fruit aromas, along with Turkish honey, pistachio, almonds and torrone is displayed. Pure, fresh and mineral on the palate, this 2003 has lots of energy and finesse, is full of tension and develops a very persistent length. A fascinating, atypical 2003 vintage Champagne from that extremely dry and hot year.'
96 points - Stephan Reinhardt, robertparker.com